Orange Pi Zero2 is a Tiny Allwinner H6 SBC with HDMI 2.0, USB 3.0, Ethernet & WiFi

Shenzhen Xunlong Software launched a refresh of their Orange Pi Zero board, namely Orange Pi Zero LTS, a couple of weeks ago. The company is now about to launch another SBC of the “Zero” family.

Slightly larger than its predecessor, Orange Pi Zero2 is also quite more powerful with an Allwinner H6 quad core Cortex-A53 processor, and more versatile thanks to the addition of a USB 3.0 port, HDMI 2.0 video output, and a built-in microphone.

Orange Pi Zero2Orange Pi Zero2 specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner H6 quad-core Arm Cortex-A53 processor with Arm Mali T720 GPU with support for OpenGL ES3.1/3.0/2.0/1.1, Microsoft DirectX 11 FL9_3
  • Memory – 512MB LPDDR3 (Allwinner AW52A8G32)
  • Storage – 4GB eMMC Flash and microSD card up to 32GB
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0a port
  • Video Decoding – 10-bit H265/HEVC up tp 4K60 or 6K30; H264/AVC up to 4K30; VP9 up to 4K30; AVS+/AVS up to 1080p60
  • Network Connectivity
    • 802.11 b/g/n WiFi 4 + Bluetooth 4.2 via AP6212A module
    • 10/100M Ethernet
  • Audio – Built-in microphone, and HDMI digital audio output
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 port, 1x USB 2.0 port; 1x micro USB 2.0 OTG port
  • Expansion – 26-pin “Raspberry Pi 1” header
  • Debugging – 3-pin UART header for serial console
  • Misc – Power & status LEDs, IR receiver, power key
  • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB OTG port or DC jack; A8038 PMU instead of the usual AXP805
  • Dimensions – 55 x 55 mm
  • Weight – 34 grams

Tiny Allwinner H6 SBC

It’s always frustrating to see boards with USB 3.0 and Fast Ethernet, since there’s no benefit over USB 2.0 for networked storage. But this is usually to cut costs, and in this case the PCB’s size may have been a problem to accommodate the extra transceiver required for Gigabit Ethernet.

Supported operating systems are said to be Android7.0, Ubuntu, and Debian, but this information is not always correct before launch. The good news is that Orange Pi 3 SBC, also powered by Allwinner H6 processor, is supported in Armbian, albeit only with WIP Debian 10 and Ubuntu 18.04 images, meaning they are suitable for testing, but not necessarily stable.

I asked the company about availability, and I’ll update this post once/if I get an answer. For reference, another Allwinner H6 board with a different mix of feature – Orange Pi One Plus – is selling for $20, so I’d expect Orange Pi Zero2 to sell for about the same price, or a little lower.

Orange Pi Zero2 USB 3.0

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Robert
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Robert

It’s also quite stupid to have the chip on the top side of the PCB. Bottom would be better for a heat sink. And with H6 and high clocks you might want to have one…

milkboy007
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milkboy007

Agree. not only it would have better thermals, it would increase Xunlong profit through increase accesories sales.
the should have taken nano pc design cue.

Goosh
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Goosh

512MB of memory is a bummer

tonny
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tonny

Depends on what you use that board for. For me, 256MB is enough. Sadly, shipping cost is exorbitant. Board + accs $12, shipping cost $7. (https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000072976827.html)

Grant
Guest
Grant

$7 is exorbitant?

Tesla
Guest
Tesla

58% of the item cost is exorbitant. Ordering several of them does not help much as shipping cost grows nearly on par with the cost of the boards

roel
Guest
roel

It’s the same for Pine64 and FriendlyElec, once you see the shipping cost, you don’t want to buy anymore especially as VAT is calculated on the total price including shipping + in Belgium we have to pay a handling cost also of 18€. This makes this board cost around 50€. Suddenly a rpi becomes indeed feature rich for the money.

Member

In your countries it might be better to use the Taobao consolidated shipping feature. You can order anything you want on Taobao from as many vendors as you want. You pick ‘international warehouse’ as the shipping destination. The shipping fee to get each product into that warehouse is minor 1-2Y.

Taobao then collects all of these shipments together for you and packs them into a single box. You then choose from a bunch of carriers (even container ships) to send it to you. Of course all of those options have different prices. The prices are reasonable and they pretty much reflect the carrier charges.

This can be a lot cheaper than ordering on aliexpress because many aliexpress products have shipping built into the price. When you order multiple items you end over paying for shipping. As a bonus there are many product available on Taobao that are not on Aliexpress (TaoBao and Aliexpress both owned by Alibaba). Even better, now you can throw in a bunch of cheap stuff at a much lower total shipping cost.

Needless to say, this won’t get you out of fees imposed by your home country.

dgp
Guest
dgp

As long as it doesn’t overheat insanely it looks good. Broadcom wifi should mean that everything you need for a headless “doing something” project should work with a mainline kernel.

Member

It’s disappointing, yes. The thing, though, is that unless you can, with applications other than in the class of iperf, saturate the 100 mbit link, it’s just checkboxing and running up costs to put Gig-E on it. Seriously. Unless you can, with your applications, continuously drive past 100 Mbits in anything other than a contrived theoretical performance test of the link and NIC, you don’t NEED GigE on the device.

As for the 512MiB of RAM…well, this isn’t intended for anything much more than IoT and that class of thing. this is the entry point and you want to keep costs down to make it usable and affordable.

What? You think you NEED more? It’s not a desktop, guys. It’s not a mid-to-high end server either. It’s a nano-router, high-end IoT device, and the like. If you wanted more…it’s going to likely be in a bigger package with a bigger price.

willy
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willy

I’m sorry but I strongly disagree with you on the GigE part. You have 4 A53 cores here, which is roughly 4 times the power needed to saturate a gig link with regular traffic (NAS, HTTP etc). 100 Mbps is what I was doing on my Cyrix 133 MHz used as an NFS server in 1998. If you can’t achieve GigE (let alone 100 Mbps!) with a normal networked application on such a machine you’re clearly doing something wrong.

Member

If you want to make a good NAS sever for cheap I’d be looking at the SOCs used in security camera recorders.
https://www.aliexpress.com/wholesale?catId=301103&initiative_id=AS_20190813074912&SearchText=security+camera+recorder&switch_new_app=y

Those SOCs are dirt cheap and they focus on disk and network performance, not GPU and display.

bob
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bob

Where to find linux for HI3536? I m afraid of linux 2.6

Member

The Hisilicon chips all use Linux 3.10 or 3.18. I found it for download a while ago. I have not worked on these boxes recently.

For example Hi3536CV100
2 SATA
2 GbE
Dual core A7

http://www.hisilicon.com/-/media/Hisilicon/pdf/Surveillance_mobilecam/Hi3536CV100.pdf

Member
fossxplorer
Guest
fossxplorer

Can these run Linux?

Member

Hi3531DV100 has four SATA channels plus GBE. You can buy PCB for about $70.

SDK here…
https://www.yoycart.com/Product/571851876709/

bob
Guest
bob

Thks I ask for HI3536 because 4 x A17 + sata + usb2.0 and dirty cheap like you said but look like hard to devellop own software, chineese language mandatory 🙂
30$ on https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32946029543.html

bob
Guest
bob

http://dl.openipc.org:84/SDK/HiSilicon/Hi3536/
Hi3536_V100R001C02SPC060.rar is sdk maybe more up to date relative to 2015 version “Hi3536_V100R001C02SPC020.rar” ?

Member

There are multiple versions of the HI3536. The board you linked has a HI3536D on it. The A17+Sata version is the HI3536V which is much more expensive.

http://www.hisilicon.com/en/Products/ProductList/Camera
Scroll down to the bottom and you can see the differences.

dgp
Guest
dgp

>If you can’t achieve GigE (let alone 100 Mbps!) with a normal networked application
>on such a machine you’re clearly doing something wrong.

TBH I don’t think Frank said you can’t achieve that sort of throughput (hence mentioning iperf) but that the sort of applications you’ll use on this thing won’t be generating anywhere near enough traffic to need more than 100mbit.
If you need more than a few megabits for your IoT application you’re doing something very wrong and if you’re using one of the IoT backends like AWS you’ll be getting a massive bill, if you make a little router out of this thing the wifi is going to be a problem before the ethernet. If you’re building a NAS then a board like this without any proper storage interfaces probably isn’t what you’re looking for either way.

willy
Guest
willy

Well, typically FriendlyElec provides a NAS enclosure made by attaching USB-sata to their small and similar Nanopi-neo/neo2 boards. So such a form factor definitely qualifies as a candidate for such a use case.

Conversely it could be said that if you need 4 A53 cores to do some IoT there’s something wrong 🙂

dgp
Guest
dgp

>attaching USB-sata

Don’t most of those things totally suck?

>if you need 4 A53 cores

You don’t for a lot of things, might be good if you are doing ML, but all of these boards are based on cheap TV box socs. Single core a7 or a35 would be fine for a lot of things but you’ll be hard pressed to find a SBC like that for $10. If someone did make a board like that the usual suspects here would be harping on about it not being the latest core or “fast enough”.

dgp
Guest
dgp

Well I totally agree with you for once Frank. Strap RAK lorawan gateway module to this thing and you have yourself lorawan gateway and so on. On the flip side the problem with these boards is that TV box SoCs don’t have tons of SPI, I2C, CAN and so on.

Member

Not including gigabit ethernet is such a missed opportunity.

Jerry
Guest
Jerry

There’s the Rpi4 4GB model for the more advanced users who want a cheap IoT board. People pretty much expect dual HDMI, HDMI CEC, HDMI Audio, true gigabit LAN, PCIe, USB3, and 4GB RAM these days. Along with open source GPU and Raspbian support. Surprisingly Rpi4 has always provided this solid set of features.

blu
Guest
blu

> People pretty much expect dual HDMI, HDMI CEC, HDMI Audio, true gigabit LAN, PCIe, USB3, and 4GB RAM these days. Along with open source GPU and Raspbian support. Surprisingly Rpi4 has always provided this solid set of features.

Dear Jerry,

People have been expecting true gigabit LAN for a veeery long time now. At least as long as you’ve been dwelling these boards..

People have been driving multi-monitor setups (usb-c DP alt ahoy!) on their SBC for years. Same with having 4GB of RAM.

People actually enjoy proper PCIe over *usable* connectors, not having to maim their SBCs via desoldering SMT elements.

It’s a bit ironic seeing you praising RPi4 that it has finally got to (almost) meet basic expectations (thermal engineering when?), after generations and generations of products and ‘everything the Foundation does is sufficient’ narrative. Unless you’re being sarcastic, of course. In which case please excuse my decommissioned sarcasm detector.

Sincerely,
people

dgp
Guest
dgp

>maim their SBCs via desoldering
>SMT elements.

FYI removing SMD parts is usually easier than through hole.

Diego
Guest
Diego

Good one 😉

blu
Guest
blu

I’m sure the Foundations will soon start bundling hot air guns with RPi4’s to encourage the user base in carrying out this simplistic procedure: http://mloduchowski.com/en/blog/raspberry-pi-4-b-pci-express/

willy
Guest
willy

Cutting the chip pins around could be even easier, then just rewire the PCIe pins to the USB pins and that’s done. Anyway the idea to route that through the USB3 connector is a good one.

blu
Guest
blu

I’d have cut the pins myself. But then again, I’d have got something with more accessible PCIe wiring. Which I have ; )

Member

Thats why i stopped bothering with chinese boards and went with Pi4 instead.

Arthur
Guest
Arthur

Jet an other H6 board. I would rather see an updated version of Orange pi router 2. Preferably with an sfp port and move away from 28nn to 12nm or similar just like amlogic did with their new TVbox soc

Member

Wow! Up to now I have considered the ‘Orange Pi PC Plus’ to be the best ‘bang-for-the-buck’ SBC with flash storage, but I think I could easily tolerate 1/2 the memory and 1/4 the flash storage with my typical non-desktop usages. Now eagerly waiting for availability on AliExpress, and good functionality reports from Armbian folks 🙂

Icenowy Zheng
Guest
Icenowy Zheng

AW52A8G32 should be 1GiB.

aan
Guest
aan

Why 100M ethernet? Why downgrade from opi zero plus?
Now opi zero plus aren’t available.

Why 4GB eMMC?
It’s so limited but price will keep increasing.
Either 8GB min or none at all.

Vladimír Havlík
Guest
Vladimír Havlík

Hi to all, could you tell me where is link on the website? I need it buy 🙂 I have first version. Many thanks